There is a food that heals, and then there is a food that harms. Hairs are no different and just like any other part of our body, they too are affected by either a bad, or a good diet. As a general consension: protein rich foods are found to be good for hair, while foods rich in oil and fats are considered harmful.
In the rest of the post I’ll be taking this conclusion forward, listing foods that are good for hair, as well foods that are “hair damaging”.
What foods are good for hair?
Biologically, a hair strand is formed of protein, so having lots of protein in the diet is the obvious choice for healthy and stronger hairs. As a non-veg diet already has enough proteins in their diet, veggies are more of a risk of losing hair due to protein deficiency.
Although proteins are essential for hair growth, any extra dose of dietary protein is unlikely to improve hair growth.
Vitamins & Minerals:
While, proteins are known to strengthen the hair strand, Vitamins are more beneficial for the hair follicle and the root part of the hair, in one way or another.
Vitamins including Vitamin B complex, C, D, and E, are important for natural hair growth.
Vitamin B Complex:
Sources: Legumes (pulses or beans), whole grains, potatoes, bananas, chilli peppers, tempeh, nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, and molasses.
Unlike, other Vitamins that are into hair follicles, Vitamin B12, just as proteins makes a part of the hair strands, so it should be taken in abundance.
Vitamin B6 doesn’t affect hair directly, rather it increases the blood haemoglobin level, thus helping hair follicle in getting enough oxygen.
The lack of Vitamin B7 or Biotin is known to be the primary cause for the balding of face, body, and scalp. In addition, Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid is also a positive Vitamin for a healthy hair growth.
Vitamin C, D, and E
Vitamin C helps in Iron absorption, an important mineral for hair growth, while Vitamin D and Vitamin E are known to stimulate hair follicle and nourishment of scalp respectively.
Iron and Zinc are essential minerals for natural hair growth. Richest Source of Iron and Zinc are Fish, lean beef, turkey, chicken, egg yolks, lamb, and pork. The moderate iron-protein foods are soybeans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, and kidney beans.
There is enough of goodness. What about “bad foods”?
An important for nutrient for promoting natural hair growth, Vitamin A, when taken unnaturally in the form of food supplements causes more harm to hair, than benefits.
Though, not among core food items, Steroids are often taken by athletes to bulk up muscle. As per the American Academy of Dermatology, Steroids can do more harm to your hair than any above-mentioned food.
Junk Foods and Liquor:
If you’re wondering, why the number of people in western countries are complaining more about hair loss, then the entire planet-blame it on the combined power of Junk Food and Beer, typical enjoyed together in the West. This may never be proved, nevertheless-what good does junk food has ever done.
Fat → Cholesterol → Testosterone → DHT → Sebum
Fat is the ultimate synthesizer of DHT-the main villain for hair loss. So, avoid any potential fats, except for those high in PUFA.